“Whenever I watch it I find something different. I hope they do, too.”
– Katie Chang
Cretton understands his story and his characters in ways that are inspiring, never once belittling them or taking them for granted. The final moments of Short Term 12 are as refreshingly invigorating as any I could have dreamt of, and as such the filmmaker’s latest effort is cause for complete and total celebration.
Drinking Buddies is as delightful as it is thought-provoking, as humorous as it is emotionally pure, and as such the film becomes one of August’s must-see enterprises audiences looking for something a bit outside of the box owe it to themselves to seek out and discover.
But it is To’s talent for destruction that’s best on display in Drug War. Heroes fall, villains are mowed down in a hail of bullets and bystanders are fodder for gory catastrophe, all of it happening in the blink of an eye.
“I’m a workaholic movie junkie. I’m going to die young just making films.”
– David Gordon Green
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints doesn’t rewrite the rule book or transform the genre in any way that’s new or different and that’s okay. When a movie is as close to perfectly constructed as this, when the acting is this universally excellent, not being the most original noir in the backwoods Texas hill country is just fine with me.
Prince Avalanche isn’t loud. It doesn’t bark out its intentions in the first frame or seem interested in being more than the sum of its tiny, intimately woven parts. It’s leisurely paced and doesn’t spell everything out, Green assuming the viewer will be smart enough to put the pieces together for themselves and decide on their own what the final truths as to what Alvin and Lance have experienced and witnessed mean for their respective futures.
Less than 12 months later, producers/writers/directors Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard have managed to cajole another group of talented filmmakers to take their crack at the concept, and results are, to be perfectly frank, close to astonishing. V/H/S 2 doesn’t just improve upon the first film, doesn’t just take note of its missteps and mistakes, it quickly enters the pantheon as one of the great horror anthologies ever made.
The Way, Way Back proves a familiar story in the hands of great filmmakers confident in their abilities (as well as in the talented team they’ve assembled to assist them) can still be worthwhile. This movie is wonderful, nothing more, and certainly nothing less, the truths it revels in may not be new or revelatory but that doesn’t make them any less compelling or, for that matter, universal.